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Virginia Tech vs. Virginia Odds, Picks: History Favors This Side of Total

Virginia Tech vs. Virginia Odds, Picks: History Favors This Side of Total article feature image
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Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images. Pictured: Reece Beekman (Virginia)

Virginia Tech vs. Virginia Odds

Wednesday, Jan. 18
7 p.m. ET
ESPNU
Virginia Tech Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+5.5
-118
126.5
-110o / -110u
+188
Virginia Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-5.5
-104
126.5
-110o / -110u
-230
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Virginia and Virginia Tech renew their rivalry within the Commonwealth on Wednesday night as the struggling Hokies visit the Cavaliers.

Virginia Tech has lost five consecutive games in the league, but did get the weekend off to get healthier and sort out its recent issues.

Virginia ended up with a comfortable away win against Florida State on Saturday and is positioning itself really well to be at the top of the conference if Clemson slides back into the pack.

Since Mike Young came to Virginia Tech, this rivalry has been one of the lowest-scoring and slowest-paced matchups in all of college basketball. The market has been consistently wrong trying to price this matchup and the posted totals have often come in way too high.

Given the limited number of possessions and familiarity of these two teams and coaches, the under is the way to go in this battle once again.


Virginia Tech held Hunter Cattoor out of its game at Syracuse last Wednesday despite his return to practice. It appeared that Young wanted to give him the extra week before bringing him back into the lineup.

That will help the Hokies’ offense after it struggled to close out games.

A lot of Virginia Tech’s losing streak has been a matter of close-game variance — four of the five losses came by five points or fewer.

The Hokies have been a lot less reliant on 3-point shooting than past iterations of Young teams. They go into the post with a lot more frequency and have been very efficient when doing so. The Hokies are in the 88th percentile, per Synergy, in points per possession when shooting out of post-ups.

That’s a negative in this matchup, though, as they face the Virginia pack-line defense.

The Cavaliers are one of the best post-up defenses in the entire country. They double the post really effectively and rank in the 99th percentile in post-up defense, per Synergy. ShotQuality grades the Virginia defense top-70 in finishing at the rim, too.

The Hokies are playing somewhat faster this season on offense, but they’re not going to get any transition opportunities at all against Virginia.

The Cavaliers don’t turn the ball over at all and are always back on defense.

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Virginia Cavaliers

When you try to defend a Virginia offense, you have to be good at containing both the screen and cutting actions. They’re one of the most patient offenses in the entire country and run as many ball actions and sets as any in the nation.

Bennett has the offense coordinated like a musical symphony, and Virginia Tech has generally been successful in matching up against this.

The Hokies’ lack of defensive athleticism has shown at times this season, but Virginia isn’t going to exploit it by running the floor much or beating them off the dribble.

Virginia runs offense with primarily spot-up shots, cuts and screens. Virginia Tech is in the top 10 percentile nationally, per Synergy, in defending cuts and ball screens.

That bodes well for its defense, which has struggled to get stops lately.

The two biggest weaknesses for the Hokies’ defense is transition and offensive rebounding, neither of which Virginia does at all. It’s a major reason why these matchups in the past have been so slow and low scoring.

Virginia’s offense has also made 38% from 3-point range this season, which is favorable to it when you look at past seasons. Regression may loom for this offense, and ShotQuality says the Cavs have shot to an expected 34% clip and outperformed that considerably.


Virginia Tech vs. Virginia Betting Pick

Young became the coach at Virginia Tech in 2018-19 and has faced off against Tony Bennett seven times in his career. KenPom projects 62 possessions in this matchup, but here’s the total possession count from the seven meetings prior.

59, 57, 58. 58, 62, 56, 59

The matchups have consistently come up short of the projected totals and the expected number of possessions.

These are two teams that are engineered and well-coached to prevent transition for the opponent, take care of the ball on offense and don’t sell out for offensive rebounds.

Unless you get a ton of offensive efficiency, it’s hard to see this game getting to 127 points. Only one of those seven meetings even made it to 120 points, and that flew over on some elite shooting from 2019 Virginia.

Now that Virginia Tech isn’t generating as many open 3s as past years, the math gets even harder to see the Hokies beating up the Bennett pack-line in the post.

I’d bet the under at 124 or better.

Pick: Under 126.5 (124 or Better)

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